Athenas Edge Bombers in Close Wells Classic Battle

photo credit: Alicia Tsai
photo credit: Alicia Tsai

CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas defeated the Ithaca College Bombers 74-68 in a close contest on Saturday evening. The Bombers held as much as a seven-point lead in the second quarter, but the Athenas came back to tie the game at the half.

With 3:44 remaining in the third quarter the Athenas took a 47-46 lead on a Maya Love (CMC) free throw. While the lead never grew above six points, the Athenas would hold a lead for the remaining 13:44 of the contest.  Ithaca closed the gap to one point on two occasions in the fourth quarter, but the Athenas stayed in the driver's seat en route to the six-point victory.

For the second night in a row, Kailee Severt (CMC) led the Athenas in scoring. She dropped 13 points while Love and Teeana Cotango (CMC) scored 11 and 10 points, respectively, to pace the CMS offense. The Bombers were led offensively by 16-point efforts from Julie Yacovoni and Cassidy O'Malley.

As mentioned, the game was close throughout. The Bombers held an 18-16 lead after the first quarter, but neither team led by more than four points at any point in the quarter. Despite trailing by two, the Athenas dominated the boards in the opening quarter grabbing 11 rebounds against just five from the Bombers.

In the middle of the second quarter, Ithaca used an 8-2 run to take their largest lead of the game at 30-23 with 4:40 remaining in the half. A 6-0 run from CMS immediately followed and the Athenas trailed by just one at 30-29. With under a minute to play in the half, Cotango hit the first three of the game to give CMS the lead at 36-35.

Ithaca's Meghan Mazzella ended the half by hitting a free throw to tie the game at 36-36 heading to the break.

The Bombers started off the second-half on a 10-6 run to take a slim, 46-42 lead, but the Athenas ended the quarter with a 13-4 streak to take a 55-50 lead into the fourth. During the five-mintue run, the Athenas saw six different players score.

In the fourth quarter, Ithaca whittled the CMS lead down to one-point at 58-57 and again at 68-67, but the Athenas always had an answer. CMS went 6-8 from the free-throw line in the final minute to seal the deal and claim the tight, 74-68 victory over the Bombers.

The victory moves the Athenas to 3-1 on the young season and they will next take the court on Wednesday when they travel to La Sierra in their final tune-up before starting SCIAC play on Saturday against Caltech.